FINANCE

Activist investor Icahn reduces Family Dollar holdings

BY Dan Berthiaume

Matthews, N.C. – Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had been pressuring Family Dollar to sell the company, has reduced his ownership stake in the company from 9.39% to 6.09%. In a regulatory filing, Icahn said that the capital he is removing from Family Dollar could produce better returns elsewhere, rather than waiting for the recently announced Dollar Tree-Family Dollar merger to close or another buyer to make an offer.

Icahn, 78, will net about $174 million in the stock sale. He has previously said that Dollar General would be the most logical buyer for Family Dollar, but so far Family Dollar has not publicly indicated it is considering an offer.

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OPERATIONS

Amazon, Blackhawk Network partner on mobile gift card capabilities

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com and Blackhawk Network Inc., a prepaid and payments network, have teamed up to bring customers a new way to manage and spend their gift cards. Using the new Amazon Wallet app, customers can more easily store, redeem and check the balance of gift cards from dozens of major retailers and restaurants.

Amazon customers can now load information from their existing physical and digital gift cards into their Amazon Wallet. Once the information is saved, card balances can be viewed from the app or online. Customers can redeem their cards online, or present them in-store from their phones. The Amazon Wallet app comes already installed on the new Fire phone, and is also available for download to Android phones running 4.0 or above. The new gift card features are also available online at amazon.com/wallet.

"Blackhawk Network’s expertise in gift card management provides our customers with access to the retailers they want and the digital experience that Amazon is committed to delivering," said Charlie Kindel, director, Amazon Local Commerce. "Together we are helping consumers get the full value of their gift cards with the safety and convenience of storing them digitally. Instead of fearing they might lose or forget about them, they can have them on hand to use wherever and whenever they choose."

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REAL ESTATE

RadioShack to open 21 interactive remodel stores in San Francisco

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack is opening 21 new interactive remodel stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. RadioShack began remodeling and opening highly experiential concept stores across the country in July 2013, and has refreshed its more than 4,000 U.S. company-owned stores.

Locally remodeled stores feature RadioShack’s new Fix It Here mobile repair service, as well as an interactive speaker wall, experiential displays, and customer-facing touch-screens and apps. RadioShack is opening a select number of these sleek, bright, highly experiential stores in neighborhoods throughout the nation.

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